Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Biomolecular Science

Director, 2014-15: Jeffrey Schwinefus (Chemistry), physical and biophysical chemistry

Faculty, 2014-15: Beth R.J. Abdella (Chemistry), bio-organic chemistry (on leave); Douglas Beussman (Chemistry), analytical and bioanalytical chemistry; Lisa Bowers (Biology), microbiology, synthetic biology, molecular biology, genetics; Eric S. Cole (Biology), developmental biology; Jay Demas (Biology, Physics), biological physics, neuroscience; Steven Freedberg (Biology), bioinformatics, evolutionary ecology; Kim Kandl (Biology), genetics, molecular biology, cell biology (on leave Fall semester); Laura Listenberger (Biology, Chemistry), molecular cell biology, biochemistry, lipid biology; Gregory Muth (Chemistry), biochemistry, organic chemistry; Anne Walter (Biology), biophysics, membranes, physiology

Biomolecular science incorporates a wide range of traditional scientific fields. Expanding interest in the intersections of disciplines such as biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, psychology, and physics has led to the development and growth of new scientific areas. Biochemistry and molecular biology have been recognized as interdisciplinary sciences for many years. Newer on the scene are fields such as bioinformatics, molecular evolution, and biophysical chemistry.

overview of the concentration

The concentration in biomolecular science will appeal to any student who is seeking an understanding of the core sciences of biology and chemistry but wishes to pursue an integrated selection of upper-level courses or to apply the study of biology and chemistry to a different major. The quarter-credit course, Biomolecular Science 201: Explorations in Biomolecular Science, introduces concentrators and other interested students to the breadth of this scientific area. An experiential learning component takes biomolecular science out of the traditional classroom and enables students to explore its applications in fields such as medicine, agriculture, or genetics.



Biomolecular Science concentrators must complete the following core courses:

Biology 150: Evolutionary Foundations of Biodiversity
Biology 227: Cell Biology
Biology 233: Intermediate Genetics
Biomolecular Science 201: Explorations in Biomolecular Science, 0.25 credit
Chemistry 125: Structural Chemistry and Equilibrium
Chemistry 126: Energies and Rates of Chemical Reactions
Chemistry 247/253 and 248/254: Organic Chemistry and Synthesis Laboratory
Chemistry 379/373: Biochemistry I and Experimental Biochemistry

Chemistry 121 and 123 can substitute for Chemistry 125. Chemistry/Biology 125, 126 and 227 can substitute for Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 227.

Each concentrator must take part in an experiential learning component (see below) and must select at least two level III electives from a set of approved courses including:

Biology 315: Principles of Bioinformatics
Biology 341: Advanced Cell Biology
Biology 364: Molecular Biology
Biology 372: Developmental Biology
Biology 382: Immunology
Biology 383: Evolutionary Biology
Chemistry 384: Bioanalytical Chemistry
Chemistry 385: Biochemistry II
Chemistry 391: (when taught as Biophysical Chemistry), and
Computer Science 315: Bioinformatics

Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor and the program director about the appropriate physics and mathematical sequences for their interests as well as appropriate complementary courses.

Experiential Learning Component

Participation in an experimentally-based research experience or employment that takes biomolecular sciences beyond the traditional classroom is required of each concentrator. This can occur either on or off campus. This activity must be pre-approved by the Biomolecular Science Committee and be supported after the fact by a letter from a supervisor.


201 Explorations in Biomolecular Science (0.25)

A quarter-credit course devoted to a broad study of the field of biomolecular science through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary literature across the field. Through exploration of the breadth of the field, biomolecular science concentrators plan their own level III course structure. While required of all biomolecular science concentrators, this course is open to all interested students. P/N only. Prerequisite: BIO 125, CHEM 125, or CH/BI 125, or the equivalent. Offered annually in the spring semester.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research